Old Forge Police Captain will go to Trial

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SCRANTON -- Suspended Old Forge Police Captain Jamie Krenitsky will head to trial after his lawyers failed to convince a judge to dismiss the charges against him.

Krenitsky is one of three public safety officials in the borough accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl at the Old Forge Fire Station several years ago.

Jamie Krenitsky said nothing as he went into his hearing at the courthouse annex in Scranton.

In court, two investigators testified Krenitsky verbally admitted to a sex act with a 15-year-old girl in 2005. But when he was asked to put it in writing, investigators say the Old Forge Police Captain only wrote down that he kissed her.

Magistrate Sean McGraw ruled there was enough evidence over two days of hearings to send Krenitsky`s case to trial.

"I think the evidence that you heard today was in complete contradiction to the defense counsel`s statement that he`s denied his involvement," said Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McCambridge in praising the Magistrate's ruling.

"Oh, I expected that," countered Krenitsky's lawyer, Jason Mattioli.

In court, Mattioli hammered away at two investigators who took the stand and it showed the strategy to defend Krenitsky.

A key argument: that at the time the accuser claims she was involved with Krenitsky, she may have been 16, too old for two of the sex crime charges to even apply.

"She`s off by an entire year," Mattioli told reporters.  "Now we`re saying this thing (the sex act) didn`t happen whatsoever.  But the dates are all over the place, the stories are all over the place."

But prosecutors Jennifer McCambridge countered, "I don`t think there`s any confusion as to the date that this happened and the age that she was."

Suspended Old Forge Police Chief Larry Semenza, and former volunteer firefighter Walter Chiavacci also face charges of sexually abusing the same young woman, who is now 23.

Another lawyer for Krenitsky said in court a state police investigator told Krenitsky at the time of his arrest that if he`d confess to the crimes, "...things would go smoothly," and "You`re not the fish we`re trying to fry.  We`re after Chief Semenza. "

That investigator said he never made those offers or statements.